First-time clients. I prefer meeting first-time clients in person but can usually get the details necessary to estimate a job over the phone.
First-time projects. While some information can be collected over the phone, some jobs and projects are too complex to estimate without face-to-face meetings and site visits.
Repeat clients/jobs. After establishing a working relationship, clients may be able to provide the details necessary to estimate a job via email.
Estimating process. I have developed an estimating survey that captures all the details necessary to estimate a job in order to establish a clear understanding of desired results, required work effort, and available budget.
Factors may include, but are not limited to:
Planning/logistics. Some jobs/projects have too many moving parts to simply show up with a camera.
Art direction. Event/editorial/documentary/headshot photography usually requires only a shot list and rarely requires art direction. Some jobs require an art director to define, design, and direct the shoot. This is a skill and expertise that I have, but it goes beyond taking a photo of what’s in front of the camera.
Digital capture and processing. The client must decide who is going to handle the heavy lifting on developing the digital assets.
- Ingesting – moving images from camera memory card to computer
- Cataloging – naming and applying appropriate metadata
- Selecting – reviewing images and marking ones that meet the established image quality standards
- Processing – making appropriate adjustments for color temperature and exposure; making appropriate crops and rotation adjustments.
Deliverables. How many images are required or expected from the job/project?
Image Galleries. Do you want to make images available for prints and/or downloads?
Delivery time and method. When is delivery expected? Is it a multi-part delivery (such as x number of images next day and balance within a week)? Is delivery to be made by email, FTP, or some other method?
Expectations. Clients may be asked to provide sample imagery representing their envisioned end-results.
Once all the information is gathered, I produce a written estimate detailing the scope of work, deliverables, and associated fees. Once an estimate is accepted, work proceeds accordingly and is invoiced within 30 days of completion.
Note: individual departments, schools, and offices have different purchasing requirements. Please check with your fiscal controller to find out exactly what your internal policy is. As I am under contract, William & Mary does not require written estimates or purchase orders for amounts under $5,000.00; however, your department may require a written estimate to be logged before work can begin.
Also: William & Mary allows you to pay me by credit card for any jobs under $5,000.00.